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Preview: Houston Dynamo hope to end road trip with 3 points vs. D. C. United

The Houston Dynamo are wrapping up a two game road trip and after getting a point in Minnesota, they hope to finish out with their first 3 points away from home against D. C. United

MLS: D.C. United at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

So the Houston Dynamo had a bit of a break while the CONCACAF Gold Cup Group Stage was going on, but now the Dynamo must move on and complete their second game in their double game week as they travel to the nation’s capital to face D. C. United. Earlier this week the Dynamo drew Minnesota United FC 0-0 in a disappointing result this so they’re still chasing that elusive first win away from BBVA Compass Stadium. Although many fans were unhappy with the result, a win in DC would give the Dynamo a respectable 4 points in the pair of road games. A loss however would be extremely unsettling given that both of their opponents this week currently sit at the bottom of their respective conferences. The Dynamo are in third place in the Western Conference and are hoping to move up above their instate rival, FC Dallas.

A Short Turnaround

Both clubs had matches this past Wednesday which means that, with the game being played on Saturday, they’ll have just 4 days before kicking off again. The Dynamo battled it out in Minneapolis against the Loons where they came out with a lot of energy and created a lot of chances, but were unable to put any opportunities in the back of the net. The team came close with Andrew Wenger and Mauro Manotas missing some close headed efforts and Alex Lima was 1v1 with the keeper, but opted to shoot with his stronger left foot towards the keeper/near post rather than fire a shot with his right foot towards the open net. Still, despite the understandable frustration by fans, the effort put into the offense was encouraging because the club tends to be more reserved in their away fixtures. Other quality performances came from A. J. DeLaGarza who had a brilliant save off the goal line along with Tyler Deric who made a save while crashing into MNUFC forward Christian Ramirez.

D. C. United was less lucky in their Wednesday outing as they lost to the Seattle Sounders in historic fashion. DCU was able to get 3 goals up on the Sounders before conceding 4 straight within regulation time – a MLS first. The Black and Red began the game by getting behind the Sounders’ back line easily and taking advantage of poor marking which helped DeShorn Brown, Ian Harkes, and Lloyd Sam all find the net by the 50th minute. The Sounders however were not down and out as headed goals by Will Bruin (who is having an excellent season with Seattle) and Brad Evans brought the game within 1. A corner kick Nicolas Lodeiro led to Gustav Svensson equalizing and then Cristian Roldan had a nice 1v1 goal against DC goalkeeper Travis Worra.

DC fans should applaud the way they opened the game as they played smart with their attacking, but as they sat back the marking was poor and the goalkeeping decisions helped Seattle win out.

Players Unavailable

With the Gold Cup going on both teams will be missing some key contributors. For the Houston Dynamo they’ll be out Cubo Torres, who helped Mexico best Honduras Thursday evening, along with Alberth Elis, Romell Quioto, and Oscar Boniek Garcia who were with the Honduran National Team. Although Honduras was recently eliminated from the Gold Cup, it’s unlikely for them to feature for Houston given when they previously played. Rest is what they’ll need after heavy minutes and a coach that demands a lot in practice.

DC will be missing Bill Hamid who is with the US Men’s National Team. Seeing how Worra struggled with many of the chances in the Seattle game, DC fans are likely really missing what Hamid brings to their club. Others who could miss out in this game due to injury include forward Patrick Mullins, midfielder/forward Rob Vincent, defender/midfielder Nick DeLeon, and former Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell.

D. C. United Form

It’s no secret that D. C. United are struggling this year as they are at not only the bottom of the Eastern Conference, but at the bottom of the league. They’ve lost four of their last MLS matches, which extends to five games if you include an US Open Cup match, so they are eager to end this streak. It is important to note that all five of these games were played on the road. They were successful in their last home match against Atlanta United FC, but that game was played June 21st – over a month ago.

Both the Dynamo and DC are coming off games they knew they should have done better in and they both know it. Despite the absences the Dynamo are still the stronger team on paper, but I wouldn’t ever feel comfortable betting on the Dynamo when they’re on the road (not yet anyways). Expect two motivated sides early which may get a little winded as the minutes get closer and closer to 90. Substitutes could play a big role in this one with both sides having played Wednesday.

Kickoff begins at 6:00 PM CT Saturday, July 22nd at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.